God’s Free Gift of Salvation
The Lord extends a universal offer of Salvation: “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). Salvation is offered to all (Revelation. 21:6; Isaiah 55:1–3). The false doctrine that some people are chosen to be lost is rejected by the apostle’s statement (Romans 8:29).
God invites men saying, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15 also Deuteronomy 30:19). God sets before men life and death and urges them to choose life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
The Believer’s First Role – Accept Christ
The Lord calls His children to accept His love. But He does not interfere with man’s negative choices, nor can He protect them from its natural results (Galatians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 3:17). Because any love relationship that is not voluntary is useless. And where there is love there is no forcing. Therefore, the first role of the believer is to choose the Lord and accept by faith His gift of love.
The Bible declares, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; 1:12). When the believer accept Christ’s atonement for his sins by faith, He receives instant forgiveness for all his past confessed sins. This expereince is called “Justification.”
It is grace on God’s part and faith on man’s part. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith accepts the gift of God and appropriate it to life. Thus, Christ becomes the propitiation for the sins of the sinner (1 John 2:2).
The Believer’s Second Role – Abide in Christ
A believer abides in the Lord through daily study of the word and prayer. Christ said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” (John 15:4). A continuous abiding in a living connection with Christ is essential for growth and fruitfulness.
To abide in Christ means that the soul must be in constant communion with Jesus Christ and must live His life (Galatians 2:20). It is not possible for one branch to depend upon another for its vitality; each must maintain its own personal relationship to the vine. Each member must bear its own fruits.
This step is called “Sanctification” and is a life-long process of growth, victory and perfection. Here also, faith lays hold on the merits of Christ as God’s remedy for overcoming sin. It is impossible for man in his own strength to overcome sin (John 15:5). But through Jesus everything is possible.
Paul declared, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). All that is needed to be done could be done by Christ-given strength. When the divine commands are faithfully followed, the Lord makes Himself responsible for the success of the work undertaken by the Christian.
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In His service,
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